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Baltimore Trunk Locking Up

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AD9O

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Hello:

Does anyone else experience difficulty with the Baltimore City public safety system repeater carriers being locked onto for minutes after a transmission is complete. I am using the BCD-396T and believe I have enabled the end code function. I suppose it is highly possible I have configured it wrong, so I wanted to find out if anyone else is experiencing the same thing and has any suggested work arounds.

Thanks,
Tony
 

ka3jjz

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I'd check the System hold and system delay times. Sounds like they're not set to zeroes.

73s Mike
 

AD9O

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Mike,

Thanks, I'll check when I get home, but I'm almost positive they are.

What's happening is on certain frequencies there is an audible carrier that doesn't drop after units are done transmitting (not an open mic) and the scanner only follows the conversation as long as it remains on that repeater. If another talkgroup is assigned to that frequency I hear their traffic. I have to either start scanning, or if I was in Hold mode on a particular talkgroup turn the dial forward and back to relock.

Tony
 

Dispatcher308

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Hon Land!!!!!
I am having problems with 868.300 hanging open, it sounds as if it is a dead carrier from one of the transmitter sites.

I dont know what the problem is.

And everything in my scanner is set to zero's

Nathan
 

doctordave

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Tony (and Mike... since you'll soon join the 396 community),

To activate the new "digital end code detection" feature - which is distinctly different from the "end code" option that is readily available in the radio's standard menu:

-Turn off the radio.
-Press the "HOLD" button and turn on the radio again. Once the radio boots, release "HOLD."
-Press "Menu."
-Select "Program System."
-Scroll to the system in question (in this case Balt City). Select it.
-Scroll to & select "Edit Sys Option."
-Scroll to "Digital End Code" and select this.
-Change from the default of "Ignore" over to "Yes".
-Then, just get out of menu.
-Could then turn radio off & back on again (to again get into regular operating mode).

This will allow the radio to move on from any given talkgroup once the unit has ended their transmission - and importantly, the radio should no longer wait until the repeater un-sticks. You'll have to set this for each and every digital system you are having this issue with. Hope this helps.
 

powerhouse

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I too have noticed this. It is always with the Baltimore police dept. I have not noticed it on the fire dept. freqs. It is not always the same talkgroup either. Once in awhile it will do it on my PSR500 but it is a common occurance on my BCD396. I'll have to check my digital end code detection settings, they are probably at their default values as I don't think I've ever changed them.
 

ka3jjz

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Thanks Dave. I'm up in Pennsylvania at the moment; I'll have to check my software and see if it's got this feature. If this tends to fix the hanging tg issue, this should be written up in the wiki to capture it for future use.

Interesting questions - does this new 'digital end code' also apply to the 996? Was this available as a result of the last firmware update?

73 Mike
 
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doctordave

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Mike,

If I recall correctly, the "digital end code" option was added to the 396 via one of the prior firmware updates. The same procedure (above) applies to the 996....and offhand, I think the original 996 firmware included this feature (not positive on this). At any rate, if it's missing in the so-called "hidden menu" of any given 396/996, then it certainly can be made available by simply applying the latest exisiting firmware updates.

This feature has proven to be a real charm for those of us who routinely monitor the DE 800 system, where repeater hangups are common.
 

TinEar

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Dave, I haven't listened to Baltimore City recently but I remember the police dispatchers had the ability to "hold the freq" - i.e. hold the talkgroup open on a particular freq - and used to do it fairly often. I'm not sure if what is being described is this function or if it's the problem/solution you described. Any idea if they're still doing that "hold" business?
 

doctordave

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Hmmm, Good question Al. I don't tune Balt City often - and I've actually never experienced the "sticking" issue with that particular system. I wonder what purpose the TG hold- open would serve?
 

powerhouse

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Does anyone know of a list of these "hidden" menu items and what they do?
I know about Anabella's list of undocumented test modes but is there a list somewhere for the undocumented non-test tweaks such as the agc tweak and this digital end code detection feature? It seems I've seen one somewhere but I could be mistaken.
Thanks
Dean
 

TinEar

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doctordave said:
Hmmm, Good question Al. I don't tune Balt City often - and I've actually never experienced the "sticking" issue with that particular system. I wonder what purpose the TG hold- open would serve?
I sort of understood their rationale Dave although I think it was based on a faulty understanding of the way a trunked system works.. I'd hear it come from both the dispatcher and/or an officer on the scene of a "hot" situation such as during an arrest or an "officer needs assistance" call. The officer would tell the dispatcher to "hold the freq," the dispatcher would repeat it and you'd just get dead silence until someone had something to say but the talkgroup/frequency would not be released. They might have been under the mistaken impression that they wouldn't have an available freq for the next transmission if they didn't "reserve" it. Because they were in a dangerous situation, they wanted to make sure they would be heard by the dispatcher. As mentioned earlier, I haven't been listening to the City recently so don't know if they're still doing this but it's worth considering rather than assuming the radio is faulty.
 
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AD9O

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Dave,

Thanks for the info. I'll give that a try. I was under the impression that these two options were the same and didn't realize the digital was hidden.

Al, originally I thought that's what it was (dispatch holding the frequency for a hot situation), but noticed it happening when nothing was really going on so I figured I'd ask.

I agree that this usually happens with the police, but have seen it once or twice on fire TGs as well.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

Tony
 

doctordave

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Dean,

Don't know. Regarding the AGC tweak, I use the following settings and note an improvement on the some regional 800 systems (Balt City, Harford, DCFD, DE, UES Consortium) verses the default values:

Default value -----> New value

P25 Res time +0 ---> -7
P25 Ref Gain +0 ---- +3

Analog Resp Time 0 ----> -3
Analog Ref Gain 0 ----> -2
Analog Gn Range 6 ----> +11

I'm curious if anyone has found any other settings to be superior for use in our area. The above settings were actually suggested by someone in another state after a thorough battery of testing. It certainly has been helpful to me.

......OK, Al, on your above post. Wonder if they were freezing the TG/freq pairing at the given moment & only allowing the unit in question to be able to key up? Curious.
 
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powerhouse

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Thanks doctordave.
I too use those settings and have noticed a slight improvement over the default values.
I just wish I had a list of all the other "hidden" tweaks or menu items.

Dean
 

mlevin

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No, it's not the dispatcher holding the freq. I've experienced the same problem wih my Pro 96 and always thought it was a problem with my scanner. Is there a way to change the digital end code on the 96 or do I just have to put up with it?
 

hill

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Just returned home from the Baltimore City and when driving in the Canton area has 866.350 Mhz hanging on the TRS.
 
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